REVIEW: Trailblazer Championship Wrestling – Bunkhouse Brawl (2023)

A live professional wrestling event by the TCW

Being an independent wrestling fan, I’m always on the lookout for wrestling companies that I can try out in my general area. For the better part of a year now, I have overwhelmingly been partaking in shows from a company called Central States Wrestling, but I’m always scouring social media for additional opportunities to branch out. My problem generally arises that many of the companies around here like to have shows on Friday nights and with me being a person that works a later shift M-F, that means I end up having to make a choice between missing out or constantly taking off work. Being a supervisor at my job means that I largely end up having to be responsible and choose missing out. You can imagine my surprise (and delight) when I discovered another company that ran shows on Saturdays out of Ottawa, KS a town that I live about an hour from (and not too far from my birthplace), called Trailblazer Championship Wrestling. My son and I snagged some tickets, packed up, and made the pilgrimage across the border. For me, independent wrestling is where the fun is – it’s great for kids, has a kind of punk rock DIY vibe at times, is more intimate, and you don’t have to mortgage your house to be up close and enjoy the matches. At 15 dollars a pop, you can’t really find a cheaper form of entertainment that is so fun to attend.

When speaking of Trailblazer Championship Wrestling, this is by no means the first show that they have put on as they started sometime in the summer of last year. The company is spearheaded by Jake and Ryan King, two men who have been wrestling in the area for quite a while in various promotions, usually as “The King Brothers” or “The Mancini Brothers”, now hanging up the boots for a stab at working behind the scenes. Truthfully, I’m low-key sad my Facebook algorithm took so long to show me and ad for one of their shows versus all the stuff I don’t care about that gets beamed into my eyes instead. Trailblazer Championship Wrestling specializes in fun characters that will not only make adults smile but will generally excite children as well. For example, TCW has a crooked cop, a questionable doctor, a corn-themed luchador, some hard hitting tough guys and gals, and everything in between. For seasoned Missouri/Kansas wrestling fans, Trailblazer Championship Wrestling shares a bit of its roster with some of the companies that run shows in central and eastern Missouri (including New Breed Wrestling and World League Wrestling as well as a handful of guys from further up north that I had never seen before. I definitely recognized a handful of people on the roster, but it was nice to see some new faces.

All card images, logos, and branding from the TCW Facebook page (link below)

Trailblazer Championship Wrestling prides itself in being an overall family-friendly product, so don’t expect to run in here and see a whole bunch of cursing, weapons, blood, or any of that other stuff that a lot of people seem to assume wrestling is all about. When it comes to first impressions, this was definitely a solid first show to attend!

This show was held in the National Guard Armory in Ottawa KS, thus continuing my tour of various National Guard armories throughout this my birth state (just kidding but it seems that way lol). Who knows, by the time I finish watching a bunch of wrestling shows around here, maybe I should start checking different armories from a list! The building itself was pretty spacious on the inside and somewhat had an old school warehouse vibe to it including windows bringing ambient light in and big sliding doors and fans. You can tell that the promoters were expecting a lot smaller turn out than what they ended up getting, which is a great sign. I always love when I go to a wrestling show, and they start having to get more chairs from somewhere because it shows that independent wrestling is doing well in the area and that people are hungry for alternatives to the big corporate television wrestling brands. I would hesitate to guess exactly what the turnout was, but it was at least 150-200 fans. I think the only issue I had with the venue was that the PA system had a hell of a time keeping up with the show. Not only did the microphone cut in and out at a number of times (with no fault to TCW) but the entranceway light show system tripped the circuit breaker towards the end. Hopefully these are things that can get ironed out for the next event by the property owners. Honestly though. If not being able to hear the microphone very well is the worst thing that comes out of a wrestling show, I think they’re doing a hell of a job.

Courtesy of Google Street View

Without further ado, I’m going to do what I normally do with my wrestling reviews and go over some of my favorite moments from Bunkhouse Brawl as well as highlighting what makes TCW TCW. Since I had a hard time hearing the names, I may not be 100% correct on some of these, and if that is in fact the case if anyone can correct me, I will happily go in and fix something here. I’ve done my best to get the entire results down 100% and with any luck that any subsequent show I go to I will be more comfortable with some of the new people that I’ve never seen before.

If you want other wrestling shows, I would recommend Fite.TV. You can get some FITE credits (10 dollars I believe) with the following code: “6m6lyyn”. I’m sure there are other ways to watch some of these, but FITE has a solid interface and has been worth it so far.

The Card:

  • “The Yoga Monster” Mike Sydal Defeated Tobias Storm
  • Rocco The Barbarian (with Dekin Cane) Defeated The Iceman
  • “The Suplex Cyclone” Curt Gannon Defeated “Sweet Justice” Juno Granger
  • “Corn Boi” Kevin Guitierrez and Jared Thumb defeated Kit Sackett and BISH
  • “The Phoenix Princess” Aminah Belmont (with SBC) Defeated “Shooter” Shylynn
  • Bobby Joe Black won the Bunkhouse Brawl – (which was a Rumble styled match) ( He eliminated: “Corn Boi” Kevin Guitierrez, Johnnie Joe Black, The Iceman, “The Hypothetical Specialist” Dr. Isin, Tobias Storm, Rocco The Barbarian, Kit Sackett, BISH, Salum Gust)
  • Madman Max Sterling (with Salum Gust) Defeated “Astonishing” Austin Mulitalo

This was the original card, but as they always say “card is subject to change” (slideshow).


I’ve come up with this little disclaimer since I have some new readers:


I usually go through a show and pull a half dozen or so things that I thought were significant or that I liked and concentrate on them, usually ignoring stuff I did not. You might think some of my choices are dumb, and that’s OK! We can all like different things, that’s what makes something like wrestling so great.

Please excuse my bad pictures, my camera on my phone was having a bad day.

My Thoughts:

The Return of The Yoga Monster:

After suffering a spinal injury that left Mike Sydal on the shelf for nearly 18 months, it was awesome to have the privilege to witness his glorious return to the world of professional wrestling in Ottawa Kansas. I have no idea how long ago it was when I first saw Mike Sydal at a World League Wrestling show, but ever since, I get excited when I see him on the card because I know I’m about to see something impressive each and every time. In my opinion, he is as close to 90’s RVD that someone can get in terms of his flexibility and physical prowess. Moving past his setback, you can tell Sydal and the fans absolutely NEEDED this win to see him off into the next chapter of his career. He was able to take charge in a very hard-fought match against Tobias Storm, a man that seems to be born to get under the crowd’s skin. Tobias dominated early on, but his arrogance got in the way at just about every stop, allowing the sheer determination and will that Sydal was harnessing to easily secure the bag. Welcome back Mike Sydal, glad to see you as awesome as ever! (Hopefully we see you back on AEW here soon as well)

Ice Ice Baby!

Another familiar face for me was the veteran Kansas City wrestling legend Iceman. Iceman has been wrestling for something like 23 years, and only lost his match at Bunkhouse Brawl through the constant interference and cheating of both Rocco The Barbarian and Dekin Cane. I think most people would have a hard time coming back from a hit from a wrench and win a match, and sadly that was the fate that befell Iceman here. I would love to see him get a rematch with no ringside managers or lumberjacks or some such. Iceman deserves his win back!

Freak on a Leash:

“Corn Boi” Kevin Guitierrez and Jared Thumb shouldn’t work as a tag team in any way, but for some reason they really impressed me in their match against Kit Sackett and BISH at Bunkhouse Brawl. On one hand you have a guy in black trunks that does a stunner and has the whole down home hard-working guy vibe, and on the other you have a masked luchador that comes out to KoRn’s 90’s hit “Freak on a Leash”, threw popcorn everywhere, chugged a literal can of corn after the match Stone Cold-style, and has Elote (the name for Mexican street corn) emblazoned on his trunks. Just look at the shenanigans of the picture above, and tell me that you wouldn’t like to know how exactly that happened? Their opponents, Kit Sackett and BISH were equally mis-matched with BISH being in a league of his own with a majestic mullet blowing in the wind and his turtleneck/gold chain/fanny pack combo look. Somehow this match just came together and ended up being one of the most entertaining matches of the whole night, and I can’t wait to see more from everyone involved.

♫♫ Gannon’s Gonna Kill You ♫♫

“The Suplex Cyclone” Curt Gannon is one of the best kept secrets in all of Missouri professional wrestling. He’s been a staple around these parts for quite a while now, and recently made his NWA debut at NWA 74 alongside his other CYN stablemates including their fearless leader, EC3. I have always enjoyed his style because he largely draws inspiration from guys like Taz and Samoa Joe, and to me that’s basically a winning formula no matter what. If you want the REAL Suplex City, and not just a bunch of the same one over and over again, he’s your man. Much like with Mike Sydal above, Curt Gannon was making his long-awaited return to the ring at this show after a long recovery from an arm tendon injury. Not only did he show very little “ring rust”, but he was able to deliver quite a few of his signature suplexes to the nefarious “Sweet Justice” Juno Granger. Granger is yet another corrupt law enforcement officer that has decided to make extra money by moonlighting in the ring, and boy is he the worst. He was handing out tickets to fans that booed him, tried to overrule the referee, and even threatened incarceration for not getting his way. Luckily, he got suplexed right back into whatever correctional facility he crawled out of. Stay tuned for Curt Gannon and his new tag team Wrestlers of Mass Destruction alongside Leo Fox, 2023 should be the year they wreak havoc on the world.

Solid Women’s Matches:

This was my first time seeing either “Shooter” Shylynn or Aminah Belmont, and I was definitely impressed with both women. Shylynn was the definite crowd favorite going into this match, and I have a feeling she will wrestle Belmont again due to her loss coming by way of under-handed tactics from Belmont and her manager. Belmont seems like the kind of woman that has always got her way, and wont take no for an answer in any way whatsoever. The main deciding factor in this match was Aminah’s manager, SBC, who not only has quite possibly the best hair in the business, but one of the best minds as well. SBC was trained in Calgary, Alberta Canada by Lance Storm, and definitely carries that in his quest to help Aminah dominate the women’s division at TCW. His ring awareness was actually pretty impressive and despite being awful in pretty much every way, one has to respect the lengths he went to to clench the win. Much like with Iceman, I’d love to see Shylynn get a chance to get a bit of revenge. Perhaps enlisting some sort of backup is the key?

My Favorite!

If done well, Rumble matches, and Battle Royale matches are one of my absolute favorite match types. I always loved Royal Rumble and World War 3 when I was younger, and that has really never waned. Going into this show, I was not actually aware what the actual “Bunkhouse Brawl” was going to be, so when I saw the locker room spill out into the arena, I knew I was in for a treat! A lot of wrestlers did double duty by re-appearing in this match, and a few got really close to clinching that win. Perhaps one of the big standouts was the debut of a new wrestler to TCW, Salum Gust. Towering over most of the other competitors and nearly winning the whole thing, he seems to be poised to be a dominant force in the roster, and if title belts ever become a thing, I could definitely see him being in contention. The overall winner was the fan-favorite Bobby Joe Black who definitely got the crowd going as he stood tall in the center of the ring with his brother. Overall, this match alone was well worth the price of admission.

All of my pictures for this match were hot garbage, so I was allowed to use this image from Amelia Burk Photography, thank you!

No Match for a Certifiable Madman:

Flanked by Salum Gust, “Madman” Max Sterling is a force of nature in any ring he appears in. His conditioning is second-to-none, his athleticism is immeasurable, and his mental state is….well let’s just say not perfect. He has a way of dropping into a state of tunnel vision where all he cares about is hurting his opponents, something that “Astonishing” Austin Mulitalo was not likely ready for. When a man makes it a point to terrorize fans walking to the ring, you know you’re in for a world of hurt. Fans might recognize these guys, as both Sterling and Austin Mulitalo also work on the eastern side of Missouri for World League Wrestling, and I was fortunate enough to see Mulitalo last year at a show in Kansas City. Mulitalo was awesome then, and somehow got even better in a short amount of time, looking every bit of the top performer that he has become. He’s got that superstar drip including a fur coat and a great entrance theme, but don’t get it twisted, he can back up the theatrics in the ring in spades. After using a chain and getting help from Gust, Sterling was unfortunately able to come out on top, but I don’t feel like this confrontation is a one-off. Mulitalo is likely licking his wounds and preparing a new strategy for coming at Sterling. This was a great match, and definitely sent the crowd home happy!


As I mentioned before, I went into this show with almost no foreknowledge of any storylines or any inclination of who half of the roster was. What I discovered was a great first impression for a company I will definitely need to attend more often! The show was well put together and had some very strong talent on the card up and down. Tickets are very reasonably priced, and even with a somewhat long drive for me, it’s still way cheaper than seeing a movie nowadays. I, of course, offset this by buying a bunch of merch, and the wrestlers were more than happy to sign autographs and pose for pictures with everyone. Assuming the next show is sometime in May, I definitely plan to head out to Kansas yet again and see what happens next. If you are looking for a more traditional, family-friendly wrestling show, you really can’t go wrong with Trailblazer Championship Wrestling out of Ottawa Kansas.

For More about Trailblazer Championship Wrestling, check out their Facebook Page HERE, their Twitter page HERE, or YouTube HERE



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